`Ross Abbinnett brings a keen and subtle philosophical mind to bear on themes and debates that have become commonplace in sociology. This is a sinuously written book which casts new light on pressing contemporary issues. It is required reading for everyone who wants to think seriously and with an open mind about the terrain of the present' - Keith Tester, Professor of Sociology, University of Portsmouth This incisive and timely book provides a concise and reliable guide to the debate on modernity and postmodernity. In particular the work of Lyotard, Beck, Bauman, Baudrillard, Giddens, Jameson and Derrida is critically reviewed. Culture and Identity provides: a thorough and accessible discussion of the main themes in the modernity-postmodernity debate; a shrewd and penetrating account of how these themes address everyday life; a novel account of how technology is altering our perceptions of the `human'; and a balanced account of the hope for radical politics and radical critique to correct the excesses of capitalism. What emerges most forcefully from the book is the error of dismissing postmodernism as a self-indulgent and ultimately, dangerous piece of ideology. Abbinnett provides a pertinent reminder of the continuing importance of the themes and challenges raised in the `postmodern moment'.
Chapter 10: Derrida, Fukuyama and the ‘New World Order’
Derrida, Fukuyama and the ‘New World Order’
When Derrida remarked of deconstruction that it would have been ‘impossible and unthinkable’ outside of a Marxist space (Derrida, 1994a, p. 92), his proposition concerned the relationship which Marx designated between the technological effects of capital and the conflicted, contradictory time of the present. For Derrida, Marx's writing on the ideological construction of the masses, on the relationship between time, capital and machine technology, and on the mechanical enhancement of human labour power, discloses an economy of technological reproduction that constantly, and without exception, ruptures the religious, philosophical and political ideals of democracy. For Derrida therefore, the spirit of Marx's critique is disclosed in its registration of the conflictual development of capitalism, ...